I have been making Ratatouille forever but never thought to put the recipe down in print. I grow large numbers of beautiful banana egg plant and this year I remembered ratatouille as a good vegetable dish to have in the fridge for a quick, healthy side dish or heated up and with eggs cracked into it makes a fabulous shakshuka.
This is the best version that I have made, it isn’t runny, each of the vegetables being cooked separately in a large fry pan and only combined at the end. It also looks good.
It is another dish that improves with time and also freezes well so can be a great emergency dish oor made early for a party.
- 5 or 6 lady finger eggplant, cut into 1 cm cubes
- Olive oil
- 3 zucchini cut into 1 cm cubes (about the same quantity as the egg plant)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 capsicum, cut into 1.5 cm pieces
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 large tomatoes cut into chunks or a 2 tins of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 tsp thyme, plus more for serving
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 3 tbs fresh basil chopped
- Place the chopped egg plant into a steel bowl and sprinkle with salt, leave to rest for about 10 minutes then cover with boiling water and leave for about 20 minutes. Drain well
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and add the eggplant, cook until soft and starting to brown. Return to bowl till later.
- Add the zucchini to the pan with a little more oil and cook, until starting to soften, add a little salt and remove to a separate plate.
- Cook the onion and capsicum until softening, for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Continue cooking slowly until warm through but not browned. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, chilli flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cook gently until the tomatoes a sauce has formed, return the cooked eggplant to the pan and continue to simmer uncovered until the egg plant has softened.
- Add the cooked zucchini and cook until just warmed through.
- Adjust seasoning.
- To serve sprinkle with fresh herbs and drizzle with a little olive oil.